This picture I took and also tweeted for our class, but then I got to thinking. Signs are really everywhere we look. They are always surrounding us giving us messages we need to know. Us humans give these signs meaning, but to us, most of them only have one meaning. When we see them, we immediately think of one thing. For example, in my picture, the wheelchair on the reserved parking sign we automatically think handicapped.
Chapter One of “This Means This, This Means That” by Sean Hall. Chapter One discusses signs and signing. The seminal figure, Charles Sanders Pierce states, “signs had three elements: the representamen, the interpretant and the object. We call these things the sign vehicle, a sense or meaning and a reference. (p. 22).
So, the definition of semiotics is conveying a message through a symbol or an image that has multiple meanings. In this image in my tweet, there is the sign with the wheelchair on it. The words say “Reserved Parking”. So there is a signifier, the signify, and the message. So Here the signifer is the wheelchair picture on the sign, the signify is that that means disabled in some way, and the message is that only persons with disabilities and also proven disabilities, are allowed to park in this specified spot.
We know a lot more then we think we know, and although this seems like easy stuff, and of course you know what something means when you see it, it can be tricky. Like in our mashup videos, we had to come up with a lot of metaphors. Sometimes the metaphor aren’t exactly the most clear to decipher, but that’s what makes it fun. 🙂